Herpes Zoster Infection

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Although accreditation for this CE/CME activity has expired, and the posttest is no longer available, you can still read the full article.

Expires August 31, 2014

Herpes zoster (HZ) infection, commonly called shingles, represents a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. Persons older than 50 and those with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk. Most cases resolve spontaneously, but about one-third of patients develop postherpetic neuralgia or other complications, and 1% to 4% require hospitalization. Treatment involves antiviral medications and 
pain management. Vaccination against HZ, which is recommended for adults 60 and older, 
incurs benefits and risks that the clinician must be prepared to explain to eligible patients.



CE/CME No: CR-1308

Earn credit by reading this article and successfully completing the posttest. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 70% correct.

• Explain the etiology of herpes zoster infection (HZ), typical and atypical clinical presentation, and diagnostic confirmation, when needed.
• Describe treatment interventions for acute HZ infection, including topical measures, use of antiviral agents, and pain management options.
• Discuss complications of HZ infection, including risk factors and prevention.
• Explain risks, benefits, contraindications, and other considerations for vaccination use to prevent HZ in at-risk adults.

Emily Jacobsen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and in the Division of Physician Assistant Education at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon; she is a practicing Physician Assistant at OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond in Portland. Claire E. Hull is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and in the Division of Physician Assistant Education at OHSU.

The authors have no significant financial relationships to disclose.


This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 1.0 hour of American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Category I CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. [NPs: Both ANCC and the AANP Certification Program recognize AAPA as an approved provider of Category 1 credit.] Approval is valid for one year from the issue date of August 2013.

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